Garrett Whitlock shutdown after soreness in his elbow, back in BOS for testing

YTF

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People keep posting this sentiment, but is there evidence that starting is more injurious than relieving, that starters get hurt more frequently or severely than relievers? In Whitlock’s case, he has seemed pretty injury-prone regardless of role.
I'm a big fan of Whitlock and have been a proponent of him being a starter, but at this point if he's done for the year and requires another TJ he's not back probably until at least mid season next year the team should go ahead and create a rotation that does not consider him at all in 2025. If he is back at any point next season they will likely limit his innings as they have in the past. If he comes back the pitcher that we've seen him capable of being, the role of a set up guy or a guy that can give you multi innings every couple of days might work best.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I was always of the assumption that if another pitcher came in that it would be one of Houck or Whitlock to the pen, but didn't consider either the definite choice. Also, considering Pivetta going on the IL after just 2 starts whichever one started in the pen might have been moved back to the rotation.
For sure, it would probably have been down to those two for the fifth spot. Houck was a full time starter last year and Whitlock was not, which I think would have given him the edge on the depth chart. Their performances were pretty damn close in spring training though.
 

YTF

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For sure, it would probably have been down to those two for the fifth spot. Houck was a full time starter last year and Whitlock was not, which I think would have given him the edge on the depth chart. Their performances were pretty damn close in spring training though.
Add to that, Jansen was a bit of a question mark heading into opening day. Part of me saw Houck slipping into that 8th inning or closer slot.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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We’re only talking about Whitlock in the rotation because of the injury to Giolito, right? Obviously a team’s 6-7-8 guys get a lot of run these days, but I don’t think the expectation was necessarily that he’d be making more than a handful of starts until that happened.
 

sean1562

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Having a good to great starting pitcher is so much more valuable than a good to great relief pitcher. Any playoff success from this team this year is great news but they are not built for a deep playoff run this season. It is unfortunate that Whitlock doesn't seem to be able to manage a starter's workload but trying him out there this season was a good idea. I mean, our bullpen is filled with randos of no pedigree performing really well. This team's future looks a lot brighter now than it did at the beginning of the season, mostly due to the pitching taking a massive leap forward with a new pitching coach. I am willing to trust the org's decision making on this considering the pitching staff's success so far this season.

It sucks that he may need surgery and we will lose him for a year. It doesn't really change the team outlook that much when Houck and Crawford look like Cy Young candidates and some guy named Cooper Criswell has a 2.76 ERA as our 5th starter.
 

Rovin Romine

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Having a good to great starting pitcher is so much more valuable than a good to great relief pitcher. Any playoff success from this team this year is great news but they are not built for a deep playoff run this season. It is unfortunate that Whitlock doesn't seem to be able to manage a starter's workload but trying him out there this season was a good idea. I mean, our bullpen is filled with randos of no pedigree performing really well. This team's future looks a lot brighter now than it did at the beginning of the season, mostly due to the pitching taking a massive leap forward with a new pitching coach. I am willing to trust the org's decision making on this considering the pitching staff's success so far this season.

It sucks that he may need surgery and we will lose him for a year. It doesn't really change the team outlook that much when Houck and Crawford look like Cy Young candidates and some guy named Cooper Criswell has a 2.76 ERA as our 5th starter.
I look at the team and think the opposite - they are built for a deep playoff run this season (esp. when Casas/Hendricks will be second-half players). Having a Houck and a Crawford and a Pivetta is a pretty significant 1-2-3 punch in a short post-season series. (Who cares who the #5 is at that point?) Likewise, who cares about "pedigree" when, as you say, the bullpen is full of guys who are preforming really well? We've got a few more live arms in Worcester, so I like our chances of having a plus pen toward the end of the year (as we do now, generally.)

IMO the main thing that's holding the team back from theoretically doing well in post-season play is a lack of depth in the lineup. But we have all season for guys to take a step forward.
 

chrisfont9

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Not to derail, but Hendricks name has been mentioned a couple of times. I've not been able to find anything more recent than this (February 26th) regarding his timetable
https://www.foxsports.com/mlb/liam-hendriks-player
Seems on track-ish? This is from a month ago (paywalled):
https://www.nytimes.com/athletic/5439588/2024/04/24/red-sox-lucas-giolito-liam-hendriks-rehabs/

Nut graf:
Last week, the 35-year-old was throwing three times a week at 90 feet. This week, he’s progressed to throwing every day at 105 feet. He’s not looking too far down the line, but feels like he’s making good progress toward returning to the mound.
 

GB5

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Was there really a suggestion that Wilkeman and Mata have some shot of being better late inning options than Kenley. I am not a huge KJ guy but those are lottery type odds.
 

Sprowl

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What is the recovery period for an internal brace for a pitcher? For Trevor Story, the recovery was a little over six months, but the throwing demands placed on an infielder are presumably lower than for a pitcher. Assuming eight months, Whitlock might be able to get in a little rehab before spring training 2025.

Then we can have the starter-or-relieve debate all over again.
 

Harry Hooper

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What is the recovery period for an internal brace for a pitcher? For Trevor Story, the recovery was a little over six months, but the throwing demands placed on an infielder are presumably lower than for a pitcher. Assuming eight months, Whitlock might be able to get in a little rehab before spring training 2025.

Then we can have the starter-or-relieve debate all over again.



Here's an AP item from March after Giolito had the brace procedure done:

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said before Wednesday's game at the New York Yankees he doesn't think Giolito will take the mound again in 2024. Recovery from the internal brace surgery, which uses an artificial material to make the repair, has allowed pitchers to return to the major leagues in as little as nine months. Tommy John surgery, which uses a tendon from elsewhere in the body to replace the torn ligament, has a usual rehab period of 12 to 18 months.
 

Harry Hooper

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What’s the benefit of TJ vs the brace?


From a 2022 IJSPT article:
Since Dr. Frank Jobe’s initial description of the UCL reconstruction in 1974, it has been the gold standard for treatment of medial sided elbow pain and laxity in the throwing athlete.8,9 Reconstruction techniques have evolved over time with varied applications including docking, Jobe, and modified-Jobe techniques.10–12 Early comparisons of repair versus reconstruction revealed poor outcomes, with less than 30% of repairs returning to the same or higher level of play, especially in a subset of Major League Baseball (MLB) overhead athletes.13,14 Although return to play rates are high with UCL reconstruction, between 85 -90%, the rehabilitation process which ranges between 12-18 months for pitchers is longer than desired.15


Newer technology and greater experience performing direct repairs of the UCL have demonstrated return to play outcomes greater than 95%.16,17 Dugas et. al published two outcome studies first establishing the non-inferiority of UCL repair with internal brace to the modified Jobe reconstruction and then reporting outcomes and return to play to the same or higher level in greater than 90% of patients, 92% of which returned to competition in a 6-7 month time frame.18,19


Although the potential for shorter rehabilitation and quicker return to play are attractive advantages of UCL repair with internal brace when compared with a reconstruction, patient selection is crucial for success. There has been a trend toward an increasing number of adolescent and youth sport participants with UCL injury.16,17 These younger athletes typically have end-avulsions of the UCL or partial tears of the ligament in otherwise healthy ligament tissue. These types of injuries lend themselves well to repair with internal brace. The UCL repair cannot augment a preexisting tissue deficiency. Patients with chronic UCL insufficiency or adaptive changes such as ossification of the ligament are not repair candidates.

It seems that Shohei Ohtani, Drew Rasmussen, and Spencer Strider also got the internal brace procedure done this spring.